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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Janice Coffey Swab

Annual, perennial herb, generally from rhizomes
Stem round or flat
Leaves generally mostly basal; sheath margins fused, or overlapping and generally with 2 ear-like extensions at blade junction; blade round, flat, or vestigial, glabrous or margin hairy
Inflorescence: head-like clusters or single flowers, variously arranged; bracts subtending inflorescence 2, generally leaf-like; bracts subtending inflorescence branches 1–2, reduced; bractlets subtending flowers generally 1–2, generally translucent
Flower generally bisexual, radial; sepals and petals similar, persistent, green to brown or purplish black; stamens generally 3 or 6, anthers linear, persistent; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers generally 1 or 3, placentas 1 and basal or 3 and axile or parietal, stigmas generally > style
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal
Seeds 3–many, often with white appendages on 1 or both ends
Genera in family: 9 genera, 325 species: temp, arctic, tropical mtns. Fls late spring to early fall.



Annual, perennial herb; rhizome (if any) generally with scale-like leaves
Stem generally cylindric or flat
Leaf: blade well developed and cylindric or flat, or reduced to small point; crosswalls often present (pull fresh blade apart lengthwise to see or slide leaf between fingers to feel); appendages often present at blade-sheath junction
Inflorescence generally terminal (appearing lateral when pushed aside by lowest inflorescence bract); bractlets 0–2
Flowers: stamens generally 3 or 6 (2 in some very small annual taxa); pistil 1, ovary chambers 1 or 3, placentas axile or parietal, stigmas generally 3(2)
Seeds many
Species in genus: 225 species: worldwide, especially n hemisphere
Etymology: (Latin: to join or bind, from use of stems)
Reference: [Ertter 1986 Mem NY Bot Gard 39:1–90]


J. articulatus L.

Perennial 10–60 cm; rhizome short, branching
Stem erect or ascending; nodes often rooting
Leaves: basal leaf blades reduced; cauline leaves 1–3, sheaths loose, blades 5–10 cm, cylindric, crosswalls complete, sheath appendages rounded, 1–1.5 mm, firm
Inflorescence 2–15 cm; lowest bract inconspicuous; branches spreading; clusters generally < 25, 3–12-flowered
Flower: perianth segments 1.9–3.1 mm, ± equal, acute to acuminate, dark brown; stamens 6, filaments ± = anthers
Fruit > perianth, dark brown, 3-angled, tapering from near middle to obvious tip
Seed 0.5 mm, oblong; appendages minute
Chromosomes: 2n=80
Ecology: Uncommon. Moist ground
Elevation: > 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, s Sacramento Valley
Distribution outside California: sporadic to British Columbia, e N.America, Eurasia

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